Squash bugs and cucumber beetles

Squash    None Given

My zucchini had powdery mildew. The garden center gave us rose Rx. which states it is organic. It seems to have helped. In the process of spraying that, I discovered squash bug eggs, nymphs and adults. And also cucumber beetles. I started hand picking these but am finding many more than I expected. Is there anything organic to control these? If not, is there a chemical controller that will not effect the blossoms or be harmful to humans? I know this is asking for a miracle but I don't want to lose all my plants. Thank you.

Posted by: Cindy (2 points) Cindy
Posted: July 27, 2013


I've found the best strategy for foiling the beetles, bugs, and vine borers is covering my cukes, melons, and squashes with floating row covers until the plants begin to bloom, when I have to remove the covers to allow pollinators in.

Sadly, that's too late for you this year, Cindy. While there are many chemicals that will control cucumber beetles and squash bugs, including "organic" products such as those containing spinosad http://bit.ly/19pe9gS and pyrethrum http://bit.ly/18JvMZc, like the broad-spectrum synthetic insecticides, they are also toxic to bees and other beneficial insects. It's a tough call when crops are full of flowers.

To help you make up your mind, you may want to consult this fact sheet from the state of Maine on the harm to pollinators from organic-approved pesticides. http://1.usa.gov/177U8Fh

Posted by: Peg Boyles (3 points) Peg Boyles
Posted: July 27, 2013

A useful accessory when hand-picking is a container of soapy water. I add a squirt of a biodegradable soap (Dr. Bronner's) to a quart container (from soy yogurt) that I keep in the garden, and add water. It's easy to drop the bugs into the container. Squash bugs breed fast and are prolific, so it's worth spending a few days to get them under control.

Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: July 28, 2013

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